Nov 18 RussCon Report

We had quite a turnout! 23 of us -- the sign of the Illuminati.

Special guest Andy made it in from England. RussCon legend RussD made a surprise visit from the wastelands of Dallas. WendyWhe made her first RussCon appearance. Jay is back from China. My coworker RonB attended his first RussCon with friend Andrew/AndyC. JeffS returned after a long absence, and took pictures for the upcoming RussCon web page -- stay tuned for news on that!

Truly it was a Very Special RussCon. But then each RussCon is special in its very own way, wouldn't you say? Yes, I'm feeling a lot of love in this room.


William, on a game-buying binge lately, brought his newly purchased Bohnanza, a German card game about beans. It turns out Andy brought a set as well, with an expansion pack! William won 2 games of Bohnanza.

RussW won Durch die Wueste, the popular pastel camel game. I was able to enclose 2 different large regions, which locked up my lead.

Jay, William, and Steve each won games of Quo Vadis, the out-of-print Reiner Knizia design I've been curious about for a couple of years. Many thanks to Andy for bringing this game all the way from England so that RussCon folks could play it! It's a neat voting game that requires cooperation among players.

Another cool game Andy brought was Can't Stop, which is a Sid "Acquire" Sackson design. Good tense fun as you repeatedly roll dice making progress until you get the willpower to quit risking it or else you roll a bad roll and bust. We all succumbed to the siren's call of "just one more roll". Very clever simple elegant design. The physical game was from Parker Brothers! Jay & RussW each won a game of Can't Stop.

Daniel won Elfenland.

Tim won Raj (if I read that handwriting correctly; 3 player game vs Harry and RussD).

James won Titan the Arena.

JeffS and James each won a game of Trumpet, which I think is some sort of card game based on a traditional mechanism (trick taking?).

Kevin won Cheops.

Squeaky won Trainsport Austria. I continued my dismal tradition of losing hideously, in this case it was the worst way possible. I ended with $0. RussD joined me in the ignomy of ending with less money than we started with, but at least he had $23 at the end. Inexplicably, I keep wanting to play this game at which I suck so very horribly. That's 4 out of 5 games now that I've ended up losing money. Obi-Wan has not taught me well.

Marty won Raj.

RussD won For Sale, a fairly cool Ravensburger German card game Andy brought. It's an unusual concept: a two-tiered auction game. First we bid to get cards numbered 1 to 20. Then we have a second auction those cards to get a different set of cards with victory points. Very interesting and weird, but quite quick and playable.

JP won Fight, as is his custom. This was a 6-player game, too! Andy was at an initial disadvantage, having to adjust to the American coins, and the mystery of why nickels are bigger than dimes but worth less.

JonathanR won a 5-player Settlers.

James won Ausbrecher AG, another German card game of Andy's, which was sort of a race betting game except instead of betting on horses (or monsters in gladiatorial combat), you're betting on escaping prisoners.

I also happen to know that game of Acquire was played, but no one thought to record it, to the chagrin and loss of Ken & WendyWhe (whom I'm told came in 1st & 2nd). You snooze, you lose. To paraphrase Smokey the Bear: Only YOU Can Prevent Gaps in the Ratings Database!

Speaking of keeping game statistics, some of you may feel I'm a wee bit eccentric in the voluminous data I gather and analyze, but my hat's off to Andy, who records each game he plays on a little palmtop computer. Most impressive. Perhaps I need to get Kinesoft to buy me a palmtop, for research purposes of course.


Exclamation of the evening:

"This could very well be a Flash Gordon book." --Squeaky

(Followed up by "I don't understand why that's funny!")

You had to be there.


Evening's Soundtrack:

Evita (motion picture soundtrack)
Michael Nyman, The Man Who Mistook his Wife for a Hat
Henry Purcell, Dido and Aeneas
The Rocky Horror Show (original London cast)
The Who, Tommy

The theme was British musicals/operas. JeffS and WendyWhe win awards for detecting this.


Rank ratings:
 0.5200 William (6 games played)
 0.4091 James (5)
 0.4000 Jay (3)
 0.3636 Andrew (3)
 0.3333 Tim (2)
 0.1034 Marty (7)
 0.0952 Ken (5)
 0.0833 KevinH (3)
 0.0400 RussW (7)
 0.0000 Daniel (5)
 0.0000 Ron (3)
-0.0741 Andy (7)
-0.0909 JonathanR (5)
-0.1111 RussD (3)
-0.1200 JonathanB (7)
-0.1429 Steve (5)
-0.2500 JP (7)
-0.2727 Harry (3)
-0.3333 JeffS (2)
-0.3846 Brady (3)
-0.5000 Doug (2)
-0.7500 WendyWhe (1)
-1.0000 Clayton (1)

Win ratings:
 0.7647 Jay (3)
 0.7365 James (5)
 0.6180 William (6)
 0.5385 JeffS (2)
 0.5385 Tim (2)
 0.3333 KevinH (3)
 0.1688 RussD (3)
 0.1625 RussW (7)
 0.0323 JonathanR (5)
 0.0309 Daniel (5)
 0.0105 Steve (5)
-0.1933 Marty (7)
-0.2000 JP (7)
-0.2615 JonathanB (7)
-1.0000 Andrew (3)
-1.0000 Ken (5)
-1.0000 Ron (3)
-1.0000 Andy (7)
-1.0000 Harry (3)
-1.0000 Brady (3)
-1.0000 Doug (2)
-1.0000 WendyWhe (1)
-1.0000 Clayton (1)

A complex situation indeed, but the top of the graph is simple: Jay, James, and William are all incomparable to each other, and all > everyone else. So they are tied in rank. I'll dole out Devilhood using #games as a tie-breaker, so William (who cares most about being Devil) is the Devil! James is Vice-Devil, and Jay is Vice-Vice-Devil. William, here's your chance to buy more games and get them played!

Ron gets the rare and coveted Extra Average Award. Clayton pulled off the rare and dangerous Reverse Brady Maneuver. (Such would not be the case had the Acquire game been recorded, since I think Clayton played in it...)


Thanksgiving RussCon:

Yes, Virginia, there will be RussCon next Wednesday. There was sufficient interest expressed, so although I expect a lighter turnout, we will be meeting. (Maybe it will be like those other gaming groups that only get 5 or 6 people! Huh-huh, huh-huh-huh, they're losers.)

The smaller crowd will be a relief since we've been hitting capacity crowds lately. Some people have resorted to going upstairs, but it's messy up there, and you lose a lot of the social interaction and the fun of a roomful of gamers and shuffled music, so I'd prefer if we can continue fitting everyone downstairs. However if this upward trend in attendance continues unabated, then I calculate if we laid all the RussCon attendees in a row head to foot, they would all get impatient and say "Russ, why do we have to keep lying here like this?"


I'm just a sweet transvestite
from Transsexual Transylvania